A systematic review and meta-analysis of the impact of Spirulina supplementation on plasma lipid concentrations.
Many studies suggested that blue-green microalga Spirulina might be a potent hypolipidemic agent. A meta-analysis showed a significant effect of Spirulina supplementation in TC, LDL-C, TGs plasma levels reducing. A significant increase of HDL-C was also observed after Spirulina supplementation. The impact of Spirulina on plasma lipids concentrations was independent of administered dose. Spirulina might be a valuable nutraceutical in dyslipidemic patients.
Summary:

Background & aims: The impact of Spirulina supplementation on plasma lipid concentrations has not been conclusively studied. Therefore the aim of the meta-analysis was to assess the effect of Spirulina supplementation on plasma lipid concentrations.

Methods: We searched PubMed and Scopus (up to July 03, 2015) to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that investigate the effect Spirulina supplementation on plasma lipid concentrations. Meta-analysis and meta-regression were performed using random-effects models.

Results: Random-effect meta-analysis of data from 7 RCTs showed a significant effect of supplementation with spirulina in reducing plasma concentrations of total cholesterol (WMD: −46.76 mg/dL, 95% CI: −67.31 to −26.22, p < 0.001), LDL-C (WMD: −41.32 mg/dL, 95% CI: −60.62 to −22.03, p < 0.001) and triglycerides (WMD: −44.23 mg/dL, 95% CI: −50.22 to −38.24, p < 0.001), and elevating those of HDL-C (WMD: 6.06 mg/dL, 95% CI: 2.37–9.76, p = 0.001).

The impact of spirulina on plasma concentrations of total cholesterol (slope: −1.32; 95% CI: −8.58 to 5.93; p = 0.720), LDL-C (slope: −1.01; 95% CI: −8.03 to 6.02; p = 0.778), triglycerides (slope: −1.39; 95% CI: −4.26 to 1.48; p = 0.342) and HDL-C (slope: 1.79, 95% CI: −0.48 to 4.05; p = 0.122) was independent of administered dose. Regarding duration of supplementation with Spirulina, significant associations were found with changes in plasma concentrations of total cholesterol (slope: −1.77; 95% CI: −3.48 to −0.07; p = 0.042), LDL-C (slope: −1.73; 95% CI: −3.40 to −0.06; p = 0.042) HDL-C (slope: 0.91; 95% CI: 0.68–1.14; p < 0.001) and triglycerides (slope: −1.39; 95% CI: −2.28 to −0.50; p = 0.002).

Conclusions: This meta-analysis showed a significant effect of supplementation with Spirulina in reducing plasma concentrations of total cholesterol, LDL-C, triglycerides and elevating those of HDL-C.

Keywords: Spirulina platensis; Lipid; LDL-cholesterol; HDL-cholesterol; Meta-analysis; Systematic review

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